Lyncia Begay

2021

Arist2Artist Fellowship

Speak for the Peaks is an art initiative, organized to address the ongoing destruction of a sacred mountain known as the San Francisco Peaks. The peaks are core to a hydrology system existing across the Colorado Plateau. Snowbowl, since its official inceptions, has largely dedicated itself to desecrating this sacred site. Most notably, Snowbowl and the City of Flagstaff entered an agreement to funnel the city’s reclaimed sewage onto the mountain to create fake snow. Within the past year, Snowbowl has submitted plans for developed expansion that would yield an even greater impact while contesting it would be done so in a fashion that was honorable to surrounding tribes. SFTP is a response among many (throughout the 8 decades that Snowbowl has existed) directly addressing and opposing the desecration and commodification of a sacred site. Hence, SFTP. Hence the need to turn inward and to unite and revitalize the collective expressions of Indigenous people who hold this mountain and her many relatives as sacred.

As a sacred summit, this mountain nourishes the various life ways that are intricate, biotic and a repeating of seasonal ecological breathing that is as patterned and diverse as the more than 200 songs that reside within one ceremony (among just one of many various tribes).

Advocacy for this mountain has thus far been organized through the participation of various artists across the region and this continent who center their relationship to this mountain through shared teachings, catharsis, and reminders. Additionally, many of our participating artists have been rewarded with cash prizes to help them out during these difficult times as their welfare is the welfare of the mountain, and their expressions are the nexus of initiating the mass shifts in consciousness. Artists have engendered a cognizant return to the fundamentals of Indigenous personhood as we jointly encounter the pandemic resulting from climate crises, centuries of colonization, and geopolitical narratives that seek to erase Indigenous health—including mostly notably, our relationship to land.

While indigenous people have been shamed and literally been beaten for the most basic forms of expression (speaking one’s language, the manner of dress, lifeways, etc.), the direct and intergenerational impacts resulting from forced assimilation holds no anchor in a time demanding our expressions, our voices. Worldwide, disaster capitalism continues to hold climates as hostages. Snowbowl is an instance of this microcosm. An ensuing apocalypse is but a totality of microcosms amassed into the macro consciousness of a sixth mass extinction. To turn inward and seek micro consciousness is to eventuate into the macro equivalent of a solution. With that, SFTP will continue to venture and foster the relations that center our collective wellness as they are one and the same with this most precious sacred mountain, known as:

Tsii Bina to Acoma:
Dził Tso to Apache:
Dook’o’oosłííd to Diné:
Nuvaʼtukyaʼov to Hopi:
Huassapatch to Havasupai:
Wik’hanbaja to Hualapai:
ʼAmat ʼIikwe Nyava to Mojave:
Nuvaxatuh to Southern Paiute:
Wi:mun Kwa to Yavapai:
Sunha K’hbchu Yalanne to Zuni.

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Projects
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Dook’o’oosłííd!, 2021. Watercolor and digital art. Courtesy of the artist.
Hot Tea, 2021. Sticker GIF, watercolor and digital art. Courtesy of the artist.

Dook’o’oosłííd!

Speak for the Peaks, 2021. Sticker GIF, watercolor and digital art. Courtesy of the artist.
Yáadihla'!, 2021. Sticker GIF, watercolor and digital art. Courtesy of the artist.
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